Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU Exorcises Stanford

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FSU Exorcises Stanford

Article excerpt

OMAHA, Neb. -- Tormented and tortured by the ghosts of past College World Series frustration, Florida State stared 16 seasons of failure-based fear in the face and didn't blink.

Karl Jernigan's three-run homer in the bottom of the 13th inning propelled the Seminoles to a 14-11 victory over Stanford and a place in today's championship game.

The second-seeded Seminoles (57-13) will meet top-seeded Miami (49-13) today at 12:30 (CBS) in the first all-Florida final for the 53rd CWS championship. It will be the third championship appearance for the 'Noles, the first since 1986, and the fifth for the Hurricanes.

Overcoming the litany of CWS shortcomings, the Seminoles won their first extra-inning CWS game in seven tries to reach the championship game -- after eight failed attempts dating to 1986.

FSU overcame those obstacles by belting six homers -- three that extended the game beyond extra innings -- capped by Jernigan's blast of a fastball from Tony Cogan.

"It's a crying shame there wasn't 26,000 out there to see that one," FSU coach Mike Martin said. "Stanford is everything that they're touted to be.

"I just want to congratulate them on a baseball game that might be talked about for a long time in this fine city."

A tournament-low 11,600 fans were on hand at Rosenblatt Stadium for the most dramatic game in the 50th series held here. What they saw was an FSU team dogged by bad luck in 16 previous CWS appearances prevail in a performance filled with courage and drama.

"This game was all about who wanted to out-clutch who," said 'Nole Kevin Cash, whose tworun, ninth-inning homer sent the game to extra innings.

There was no shortage of clutch performances on either side, including the two-inning relief effort by 'Noles ace Nick Stocks. One night after failing to get out of the fifth inning as the starter, Stocks pitched two innings of two-hit relief for his first CWS win.

Stocks, the CWS record-tying seventh FSU pitcher to appear in the game, started the 12th with the game tied at 11. …

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